Thursday, May 14, 2009

North Idaho Racism Again

I friend of mine here in North Idaho anonymously writes THIS white separatist blog under the pseudonym of Ehud (since writing this post the blog is now restricted to invited readers only). It includes an impressive array of racist quotations, including the following (taken from an article that attempts to apply black and white moral categories to skin colour):

White is the symbol of Divinity or God;
Black is the symbol of the evil spirit or the demon.
White is the symbol of light…
Black is the symbol of darkness and darkness expresses all evils.
White is the emblem of harmony;
Black is the emblem of chaos.
White signifies supreme beauty;
Black, ugliness.
White signifies perfection;
Black signifies vice.
White is the symbol of innocence;
Black, that of guilt, sin, and moral degradation.
White, a positive color, indicates happiness;
Black, a negative color, indicates misfortune.
The battle between good and evil is symbolically expressed
By the opposition of white and black.” (From
Part III of the Providence series)

Ehud's blog articulates a kinist approach to human identity, in addition to being peppered with pejorative views about blacks, not least the idea that black and white skin colour has an approximation with black and white moral categories.
A central pillar of his argument is that God organized mankind along familial lines and that the nations (ethnoi in the Grk: 'ethnicities') are to live as nations, with boundaries which every Christian is bound to respect. The alternative (so it is argued) is the age old dream of universal empire, the borderless multicult of Babel.

Now it should be acknowledged from
the outset that I am sympathetic this Ehud's desire to avoid what he terms “the borderless multicult of Babel.” I have
written against internationalism on more than one occasion, being particular sensitive to the way British sovereignty is being undermined by the creeping European hegemony, which is similar to what happened on this side of the pond as a result of the War Between the States.

However, I would argue that the alternative to Babel is not to have nations organized along familial lines. The alternative to Babel is Pentecost. The architects of Babel were trying to achieve something that only God’s spirit could and did achieve at Pentecost, when the nations were brought together under God’s kingdom. When that occurred, the confusion between the languages was reversed as a powerful symbol that those who were previously fractured and divided (as a result of the Babel curse) are brought together in the new reality of Christendom. But just as everyone at Pentecost still retained his own peculiar tongue (rendered intelligible by God’s Spirit), so God’s kingdom preserves rather than obliterates the national sovereignties He has established.

Now these national sovereignties are necessarily ethnic in their orientation. Throughout the history of Christendom, peoples have primarily followed the Biblical pattern of organizing nations covenantally rather than racially, notwithstanding Ehud's point about the etymology of the word “nation.” It seems hard to get around the fact that throughout the Bible God defines the nation of His people not in terms of ethnicity but in terms of a trans-racial covenant.

This is just as true in the Old Testament as it is in the New, since among the “descendents of Abraham” very few of them were actually blood descendents of the Patriarch. As Peter Leithart points out in his book A House For My Name, all the male members of Abraham’s household were circumcised (Gen. 17:12-14), and in a household that included 318 men of fighting age (Gen. 14:14), this must have been a sizable number of men – far more than the blood descendants of Abraham, who at that time included only Ishmael. When Israel came from Egypt, they came out as a “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38) that included thousands of converted Egyptians who did not want to hang around Egypt after it had been nearly destroyed by plagues. My point is that blood decent from Abraham was never the criterion of covenantal identity, and within the covenant those who were not blood descendants of Abraham have always outnumbered those who are.

Building on this pattern, the nations of Christendom have generally organized themselves covenantally, unlike pagan tribal societies. The covenantal bonds have involved everything from a shared networks of responsibilities and privileges (i.e., Feudalism) to simple obedience to a monarch. This can be seen in the fact that prior to the 18th and 19th centuries, instead of speaking about ‘nations’, political discourse tended to speak of ‘the commonwealth,’ ‘the people,’ ‘the confederation,’ ‘the common land,’ ‘the public,’ ‘the community,’ ‘the coorperative welfare’, and other covenantal terms that avoided both the centralizing and unitary implications of ‘nationhood’ as well as the pagan connotations implicit in a purely tribal or ethnic identity. These communal bonds meant that the locus of patriotism was focused in regional communities which, in turn, were located in the wider community of Christendom. This gave people a sense of place both on the local and the global level.

It was as an antidote to the tribal organization of society that Christian missionaries began giving people first names (“Christian names”) at their baptism. This was the missionaries’ way to move an individual’s identity away from the tribe and onto their role as a member of Christendom. The identity that people had as members of Christendom explains why, in many parts of the American confederacy – which was the closest New World equivalent to the communities of medieval Christendom – you had blacks and whites living, worshiping and fighting side by side as brothers. They were part of the same culture even though they were not part of the same race. (This obviously had exceptions in those parts of the South where oppressive slavery was practiced.)

Again, it can hardly be over-emphasized: the thing that gave pre-Enlightenment members of Christendom a sense of place, was not belonging to an overarching “state”, nor was it their identity in an ethnic group. Rather, it was the religion, values, heritage, language, metanarratives and all the other intangibles that go into making a culture. And that culture is something that immigrants with other ethnic backgrounds can join and contribute to, as seen by the fact that many of America’s folk traditions are an amalgamation of traditions brought over from the old world and which gradually took on an American flavour (which were themselves mixed with some of the Native American traditions, as William Bradford shows in his book Of Plymouth Plantation).

That is why I dispute the comment Ehud has made in his
article on the melting pot, where he says "here in America the British came and founded a nation for ‘the White Man and his posterity forever’, meaning, men of European descent generically.... they admitted no immigration from alien races aside from the purposes of labor.”

Without going into all of his historical arguments, the idea that the founding fathers self-consciously founded a nation for the white race is akin to the imperialistic, manifest-destiny type of thinking that only developed later in the history of America and was a key factor in the Union’s case against Southern Confederacy. More fundamentally, however, this seems to be based on a misunderstanding of the practice of old Israel, which was allegedly to keep foreigners as labourers continually distinct from their own people. This ignores the fact that the Old Testament immigration laws make very clear that foreigners could always join the covenant and after so many generations attain the full privileges of that covenant, provided of course that they agreed to be circumcised, become Jews and abandoned their paganism, just as foreigners have always been allowed to join America if they were willing to become American citizens.

The problem with immigration today – which people like Ehud,
Ed Steele and the BNP are reacting against – are that immigrants are coming over (legally and illegally) and failing to assimilate, even deliberately undermining the values of Western society. That is the problem, not their race. The problem is that these people are coming over from societies that have not been inculcated with the Biblical worldview and they come over here and set up rival cultures. This naturally ends up being subversive, not because of their race but because of their wrong worldview.

In falsely diagnosing the problem, it seems that Ehud may be in danger of colluding with the very liberalism he claims to repudiate. Much liberal scholarship works in a post-colonial guilt paradigm which sees society’s problem as stemming from the white race in general and white men in particular. Ehud seems to be working within this same paradigm, the only difference being that he has changed the race in question, so that Blacks and Jews become the scapegoat to blame for societies’ ills. It is hard to know how else to interpret the words of Ehud's would-be governor, Ed Steele:

"Jews are right about anti-Semitism being a disease, you know, just as fourteenth-century Europeans were right about the nature of bubonic plague. However, just as with bubonic plague, American Jews seem not to have identified the Jewish Plague’s real carriers. But you and I know who they are. Anti-Semitism is a disease. You catch it from Jews.... So, what color are Jews? Jews are the color of avarice and greed. Jews are the color of deception, manipulation and the lust for power. Jews are the color of dishonesty, selfishness and heartlessness." May 7, 2005

"Join me, won't you? Boycott products advertised with black actors and models. Make a statement: If you see black, don't go back. Boycott TV shows and movies with black actors. Send the message that we are fed up: If we see black, we don't go back. Cancel your subscriptions to newspapers and magazines that push black articles, columnists and advertisements into your face. There are plenty available that don't. Not coincidentally, those that don't promote blacks are the same ones that actually tell the truth about other things, too. Tell them when you cancel: If we see black, we don't go back." Feb. 27, 2005

Taking these quotations at face value, it seems that Ed is saying a lot more than merely that our borders need to be protected, and it is hard to see how someone who makes these kinds of statements can legitimately defend himself against the charge of bigotry. The prejudice and suspicion revealed here simply doesn’t sit right with someone who worships every Lord’s day alongside people who are black. I would be willing to agree, in principle, that certain ethnic groups (such as American blacks) can be statistically more prone to crime, liberalism, undermining of Western values, etc, but this is the result of worldview issues, and if instead of focussing on these things we turn our attention to the ethnicity itself (which would be the de facto result of the kind of boycotts Steele proposes), then we fall into the age old fallacy of mistaking correlation for causality. It’s like saying “Sleeping with one's shoes on is strongly correlated with waking up with a headache. Therefore, sleeping with one's shoes on causes headache.” This example commits the correlation-implies-causation fallacy, as it prematurely concludes that sleeping with one's shoes on has a causal relationship with headache when there may be other explanations to explain the correlation (for example, that both are caused by a third factor like alcohol intoxication). In the same way, the correlation between certain ethnic groups and vices in crime or liberalism or undermining of Western values, is only accidentally related to their race (by accident I mean a nonessential, incidental or subsidiary predicate). Ehud confuses these categories in his article “Providence: Cultural & Biological Part III." This is why I must reject Ehud's view that God uses the genetic disposition of different ethnicities to predispose them for or against the gospel.

Romans 1 tells us the problems that lead cultures to deviate from the knowledge of God, and if we relocate these causes onto race (even with Ehud's caveat that racial distinctions are God’s instrumental means of outworking his Supralapsarian decrees) this is not only Biblically unfounded, but harks back to the kind of tribal antitheses that characterized pagan society and is so contrary to justification by faith and to the new community God has and is forming through the gospel.

favourably summarizes Belloc’s position that “Christianity is uniquely European... the two are rather inextricable from one another. Christianity was universally recognized as ‘the White Man’s religion’ by Christian and Heathen alike” a view which “certainly wasn’t sinful but “reflected Christian Orthodoxy.” As someone who has lived in Germany twice and has talked to Christians from the Continent, the view that “The White Man was seen as uniquely predisposed to the Faith” because of his “biological lineage” seems grossly naive if anything. I guess when we whites were painting ourselves blue and savagely murdering one another we were demonstrating our innate superiority to the Africans who knew geometry, mathematics, theology, etc. Now worldviews take a long time to seep in and out of cultures, so Ehud is correct that a white atheist neighbourhood is generally safer than a black Christian one, but only because Western atheists live and breathe the residue of the very worldview they reject. But that residue will not last forever and is, in fact, running out. Thus, I would far rather raise my family in parts of Africa than in France or Germany, given the growing hostility to the faith apparent in those nations.

Christians have enough real enemies without needing to get side-tracked by relocating the antithesis where it isn’t. There is
a battle going on between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent and that is where we should be focused, not on these ethnic rivalries. This point is lost when Ehud takes the Biblical principles of separatism given in the Old Testament and relocates them around race, saying (as he did to me when we met to discuss some of these issues over beer) that mixed marriages are Biblical ‘adultery’, that the children of such unions are ‘bustards’, and that adopting someone from another race is a form of kidnapping.

One of the reasons I am concerned about this is because it could be giving the enemies of God cause to blaspheme. How many times do liberals accuse Christians of being racist and bigoted? For the sake of our witness, we need to be careful not to even give the appearance of these things unnecessarily. Of course, our borders need to be protected. Of course, government should cease taking compulsory-gathered tax dollars and giving them to La Raza, Mecha, etc. Of course, there needs to be room for objective dialogue on ethnic differences. Of course, there needs to be greater wisdom exercised in how Western nations can assimilate (both culturally and economically) the impact of large immigrant communities. And of course, we’re going to be called racist for taking those positions. Fine. But that is not the issue. The issue is whether we are going to return to a pagan, tribal paradigm of society structured around ethnicity, scorn, prejudice and suspicion, or whether we are going to work within the Biblical concept of Christendom where petty factions and rivalries have been done away with.

While I do not have time to develop this point in the theological depth it deserves, I believe that anything less than this is a functional denial of justification by faith. This is because Paul’s great discussion of justification in his letter to the Galatians emerged out of his discussion of the divided table in Antioch when the church had broken down into petty factions – factions that Paul saw as a functional denial of justification by faith in Christ alone. Whether the issue is Ehud, who left his former church specifically because it was becoming inner-racial, or Peter deserting the Gentile brothers at Antioch to only eat with the Judaisers, Paul’s answer is the same: the new covenant is a truly international movement, rescuing us from the fleshly divisions and petty rivalries which characterize non-Christian society. (See THIS and THIS and THIS
treatment of Galatians, which convincingly argue that Galatians is not a polemic for Christian freedom against Jewish legalism, when the later is defined as an attempt to earn salvation through merit righteousness, but a treatise on the Ecumenical nature of the Christian church). That is why Paul championed mixed Jews/Gentiles churches and gave much of his attention to helping such congregations know how to interact in unity not division. One of my favourite writers, Tom Wright, puts this well in his book What Saint Paul Really Said:

“The critical thing is that the church, those who worship God in Christ Jesus, should function as a family in which every member is accepted as an equal member, no matter what their social, cultural or moral background. The very existence of such a community demonstrates to the principalities and powers, the hidden but powerful forces of prejudice and suspicion, that their time is up, that the living God has indeed won the victory over them, that there is now launched upon the world a different way of being human, a way in which the traditional distinctions between human beings are done away with. That is why we find in Ephesians the climactic statement: the purpose of the gospel is that ‘through the church the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places’ (Ephesians 3:10). The very existence of a community of love, love where before there was mutual suspicion and distrust, is the crucial piece of evidence that tells Paul that God’s spirit has been at work (Colossians 1:8).

If Ehud's goal is realized of having an America organized along racial lines in which there would no longer be churches of mixed race, then it is hard to see how we could fully appreciate the international implications of justification by faith. As Galatians makes clear, the doctrine of justification fleshes itself out in table fellowship, since all who confess Christ belong to the same common table whatever their ethnic, moral or social background. Even though Ehud allows that blacks and Asians can be saved (after overcoming their genetic disposition against the Biblical worldview), the fact that he finds it difficult to worship side by side with blacks, seems to be a functional denial of this precious truth.

The church’s story is that of the renewed people of God in Christ, which is nothing other than the multi-ethnic family God promised to Abraham. While the church preserves and does not obliterate the distinctions of nationality, race and culture, those distinctions are no longer what fundamentally defines
who we are.

Answers to Objections
More About The Judiasers
It has been alleged that I completely missed the point about the Judaisers. [Technically, a Judaiser is a Gentile who is trying to become a Jew, that is, to Judaise, although the term is popularly used to denote the Jewish agitators who tried to get Christians to Judaise. It is in the second sense that I am using the term]
As one person argued after reading my article, the ruling of the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 did not rule that the ethnoi were abolished (which I never claimed anyway), that there were no longer sovereign peoples or any other such humanist fantasy. Rather, this person argued that they ruled that the Gentiles categorically did not need to be assimilated or homogenized into the Judaisers’ idea of a universal empire. The council recognized the ethnic and cultural sovereignties of the Gentiles (Japhethites) and demanded that the Judaizers in the Church leave them alone, respecting their distinctions and their boundaries.

I think this objection misses the point. It is anachronistic to say that the Judiasers’ were proto-postnationalists pushing for a borderless polyglot. Rather, they were simply good Jews who were doing business as usual, as it had always been done under the Old Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, Gentiles could come into the covenant but not as Gentiles, they had to first convert to Judiaism. When the Lord restructured the covenant around Jesus, faith in Christ (as evidenced by the covenantal sign of baptism) replaced circumcision as the visible sign of entry into the covenant community. But the Judiazers didn’t like that. They wanted things to just carry on as they always had done in the Old Testament period. Under the Old covenant, if a Gentile wanted to join the covenant community, he had to get circumcised and begin living like a Jew. The Christian Judiasers were carrying on with this practice. The Judiasers failed to realise the newness of the good news. Even though Christ had died and risen from the dead, and even though the Holy Spirit was being poured out on Gentiles as Gentiles (Acts 10:44-48 & 15:8), the Judiasers continued with ‘business as usual.’ They said, ‘Yes, it’s fine for Gentile believers to become one of us, but they have to first go through the same process that proselytises have always had to go through. They must get circumcised and start keeping the Torah of Moses.’

The Judiasers’ vision of God’s covenant would have been the correct view had it not been for Jesus work in radically restructuring of the covenant around himself. They came on the scene too late in redemption history and the good news they were preaching was old news and therefore not good.

When the Judiasers told people they had to get circumcised and come under the law (Torah) in order to be justified, it wasn’t a matter of trying to earn your salvation. In the Old Testament, keeping the Torah never meant living perfectly by every command. Consider Zechariah who, despite being a sinner, was said by Luke to have walked blamelessly in all the Lord’s commandments. As Olliff points out in his article '
Looking for Legalism', the claim about Zechariah isn’t a claim that he didn’t sin. Rather, such a statement was possible because the text is not referring to law keeping in the abstract. It is referring to faithfulness within the context of the covenant. And the covenant itself had the sacrificial system whereby sin could be dealt with by faithful people. So when Zechariah (or someone else) sinned, he remained obedient to the commandments by sincerely availing himself of the sacrificial system. Thus, to keep the law meant faithfulness to the covenant. That faithfulness was expressed by entering into the basic structure that defined this people over and against the Gentiles, availing oneself of the atonement system, living by the Mosaic ceremonial codes, being separate from the Gentiles, and of course availing oneself of the covenantal sign (circumcision). All these points can be found in the Old Testament. The problem with the Judiasers was simply that they were no longer living in the Old Testament.
It is against this backdrop that Paul's emphasis on Christian freedom can be understood. Freedom throughout the epistle to the Galatians simply refers to the freedom for Gentile Christians to stay as Gentile Christians, and not to have to become Jews in order to belong to the people of God.

If this reading of the controversy is correct (and those who are unconvinced should check out
resource), then notice what follows. The anti-thesis between the Judiasers vs. Paul and the Jerusalem council, is not the antithesis between those who wanted to preserve the ethnoi vs. those who wanted to obliterate it. Nor was the conflict between those who advocated Babylonian-style empire vs. those who didn’t, but between two different visions of God’s covenant and how to enter it. Those ways of reading the controversy are just as anachronistic as the post-reformation idea that the conflict was between those who advocated a works-based soteriology vs. those who were contending for a grace-based soteriology (after all, hadn't salvation always been by grace, even under the old covenant?). Rather, the conflict hinges on two different ways of answering the question “How do you define the people of God?” Both groups believed in an expanding the covenant and both groups could assert that God’s plans were international, but whereas the Judiasers said that the Gentiles had to stop being Gentiles and enter the covenant through the door of conversion to Judaism, Paul asserted that faith in Christ was the only requirement.

In his brilliant lecture, ‘
Justification, Trinity and Catholicity’, Rich Lusk comments on some of the deeper issues involved in Peter’s actions. He says,

“We in the reformed world have been blind to the real issue in this passage which clearly centres around table fellowship. See, to eat a meal together in scripture is a covenantal act. It is an act of covenant bonding. When Peter ate with Gentile believers, he was acknowledging them as fellow members of the covenant community. He was acknowledging that apart from the Mosaic law, apart from living Jewishly, that these gentiles had right standing in the covenant. He was recognising their status as fellow sons of Abraham. Thus, by later withdrawing from table fellowship with those Gentile Christians, he was calling their covenant status into question. They were excommunicated practically speaking so far as Peter was concerned. They were out of table communion or table fellowship with him. By eating only with Jewish Christians, Peter was compelling the Gentile Christians to live as Jews, to submit themselves to the Torah of Moses. In other words, his action suggested that justification, which in this context has to be understood covenantally – right standing with the covenant – his action suggested that justification could not be obtained apart from Judaism – that is to say, apart from a Jewish form of life.

“Peter divided believers into two categories: there were Gentiles who believed in Jesus as Messiah but were now, because of Peter’s action, on the outside looking in, excluded from table companionship with the apostle. And then there were Jewish believers who, yes, believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but in addition to that maintained a Jewish way of life according to the customs of Torah. It was precisely this action of dividing the church into haves and have-nots, into first class and second class citizens in the kingdom, that drew forth Paul’s harsh rebuke. See Peter failed to understand the newness of the good news, that through Christ’s death the dividing wall of hostility between Jew and Gentile had been taken down, that the new age inaugurated by the Messiah brought about the fulfilment of all the prophetic promises – all the prophetic hope – which pointed towards the inclusion of Gentiles as Gentiles in the Israel of God. Peter failed to come to grips with the way the way the death and resurrection had reconfigured the covenant community so that in Christ one’s heritage as a Jew or Gentile or one’s social status as a bond servant or a free man or one’s gender as a man or woman, had no baring whatever on one’s status or standing within the covenant community. Peter was trying to turn back the clock of redemption history, seeking to live BC in an AD world. He was clinging to features of the old age such as circumcision and the dietary laws, features of the old world order that, yes, were God-given, but now fulfilled their God given purpose in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So by dividing the communion table Peter was tearing Christ into pieces. Peter was denying catholicity."

This backdrop makes sense of Paul’s criticisms of Peter that he recounts in Galatians. In Galatians 2:13, Paul called Peter a hypocrite. This is because Peter had stopped living like a Jew yet was now requiring (if only by implication) that Gentiles begin to live like Jews. In what way had Peter begun to
“live like a Gentile”? Well, recall what happened to Peter in Acts. In Acts 10, Peter had a strange vision where the Lord lowered down a net filled with unclean animals and told Peter to eat. It is significant that unclean animals were used to represent unclean people, since the reason God gave for the clean/unclean distinction was in order that His people might be separate from the rest of the nations (Lev. 20:22-26). This vision was God’s way of telling Peter that things had now changed: Gentiles believers are now welcome into the covenant community as Gentiles (always before they had been welcome provided that they convert to Judaism and become ritually clean according to Mosaic law). Always before it had been unlawful for a Jew to keep company, much less eat, with a Gentile. As Peter said to Cornelius, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” (Acts. 10:28) The consequence of this is that Peter begins eating with Gentiles, to the great astonishment of the Jews (“’You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!’” Acts 11:3). But not only does Peter stop observing the clean/unclean distinctions, being, like Paul, “convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself” (Rom. 14:14), but Peter also insisted that Gentile converts not be made to submit to the ceremonial laws of Moses. As Peter had said in response to the Judiasers, “why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” (Acts. 15:10) Peter was not referring merely to circumcision when he said that, since circumcision by itself was not a yoke that was difficult to bear; nor is Peter referring to the yoke of God’s moral law, as if an age of antinomianism was now being ushered in; nor is Peter referring to the yoke of trying to earn one’s salvation, since that was not the issue with the Judiasers. Rather, Peter was referring to the need to follow the ceremonial customs of Moses, with the elaborate instructions for cleanliness that involved. This is because the Gentiles have been purified (made clean) through Christ. As Peter said in Acts 15:8-9, “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” Peter appealed to the fact that the Holy Spirit came upon Gentiles living as Gentiles and not as Jews, as the final proof of this new work. Given all of this background, we can begin to understand why Paul called Peter a hypocrite when he began to separate himself from Gentile believers and demand that Gentile converts start living like Jews.
Tom Wright puts it like this:
‘We are Jews by nature,’ he writes, ‘and not ‘Gentile sinner’ (2:15). That last phrase is a technical term: ‘lesser breeds,’ as it were, ‘outside the law.’ It represents, as do the boasts catalogued in Romans 2:17-20, what Paul knew to be a standard Jewish attitude rooted of course in the scriptures themselves. He is talking about ethnic identity, and about the practices that go with that. And he is about to show that in the gospel this ethnic identity is dismantled, so that a new identity may be constructed, in which the things that separated Jew from Gentile (as in Ephesians 2:14-16) no longer matter. This, and only this, is the context in which we can read the famous and dense verse 2:16 with some hope of success.

Despite the fact that ‘we are Jews by nature [i.e. by birth], not Gentile sinner,’ ‘we nevertheless know’, he says, ‘that a person is not justified by works of the law’. Here it is: the first statement of the Christian doctrine of justification by faith. Or rather, the first statement of its negative pole, that one cannot be justified by works of ‘the law’ – which, by the way, for Paul always means ‘the Jewish Law, the Torah’.... The force of the statement is clear: ‘yes, you are Jewish, but as a Christian Jew you ought not to be separating on ethnic lines’....

The context and argument of Galatians 3:1-4.11, like that of 2:11-21, is all about God’s strange but single plan for the family of Abraham, now accomplished in the apocalyptic events of the faithful Messiah’s death and resurrection, generating a single family who are characterized by faith, and who through baptism have left behind their old solidarities to discover their inheritance as Abraham’s children, God’s children.

It is only with this backdrop in place that we can draw the types of applications that I was urging, which have as much to do with our ecclesiology as our soteriology since it gives credence to a healthy sense of ecumenicism (or 'catholicity' since I have found that Americans associate the term 'ecuminical' with syncretism and liberal views of salvation) by demolishing all the man-made barriers that otherwise divide the people of God. Specifically, if it was wrong for the Judiasers and Peter to divide the table between two types of Christians (Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians), then it is wrong for us to divide the table between white Christians and black Christians, which is the functional result of arguing against churches of mixed race even if it is still acknowledged that both
races can be saved. Such functional division of table fellowship is also the logical corollary of arguing against marriage of mixed race, an argument which is developed HERE. It is also the functional result of the kinds of pejorative views of blacks that are necessary attendant to arguing that black and white moral categories transfer over to skin colour.
Since writing the above article, someone left a comment on my facebook charging me with inconsistency. My friend has got so concerned about my inconsistency and my views on race that he accused me of an "eisegetical imposition" worthy of execution (and people say I take these debates too seriously!).
The concern comes from my quotation of Wright: "[This is]...what Paul knew to be a standard Jewish attitude rooted of course in the scriptures themselves. He is talking about ethnic identity..." It is alleged that this contradicts the comments I made in THIS article that the “descendents of Abraham" were a mixed race. As I wrote there, "This is just as true in the Old Testament as it is in the New, since among the “descendents of Abraham” very few of them were actually blood descendents of the Patriarch. As Peter Leithart points out in his book A House For My Name, all the male members of Abraham’s household were circumcised (Gen. 17:12-14), and in a household that included 318 men of fighting age (Gen. 14:14), this must have been a sizable number of men – far more than the blood descendants of Abraham, who at that time included only Ishmael. When Israel came from Egypt, they came out as a “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38) that included thousands of converted Egyptians who did not want to hang around Egypt after it had been nearly destroyed by plagues. My point is that blood decent from Abraham was never the criterion of covenantal identity, and within the covenant those who were not blood descendants of Abraham have always outnumbered those who are."
It is alleged that the above paragraph is in diametric opposition to Wright who argues that Israel was a distinctly ethnic nation. The objection is easily overcome by pointing out that there is no formal contradiction in affirming the premise that (A) ethnicity was indeed one of the defining features of the people of God under the Old Covenant; and (B) that those who counted as ethnic descendents of Abraham included those who may or may not have been technically descended from the Patriarch. Since the Bible clearly teaches both A and B, if someone has a problem with this, take it up with God, not me. And more calls for my execution. A question remains about my reference to mixed marriages which though not the topic of the above article, nevertheless relates to a number of points I made above. When Paul says in Galatians that there is neither slave nor free, Jew or Greek, male or female, etc., does this imply that marriages of mixed race are legitimate? If so, then doesn't it follow that same-sex marriages are also ok? After all, if the statement "there is neither Jew nor Greek" means that people are free to marry irrespective of race, then can't we also say that people are free to marriage irrespective of gender, since Paul mentions gender categories along with racial categories? Such would indeed be the implication if I was arguing simply that because Paul says "there is neither Jew nor Greek" that people can ignore these categories (he clearly didn’t want us to ignore gender categories!). To use this passage to argue for the legitimacy of inter-racial marriages, we must point out that when this passage is seen in the light of the entire epistle to the Galatians, interpreted in the context of the whole biblical story of redemption history, it becomes clear that in this passage Paul is saying that ethnic identity is no longer what marks out or defines the people of God. Seen as such, there is then continuity with the gender categories Paul also appeals to, because gender, no more than race, marks out the people of God. Gal. 3:28 does not abolishes all distinctions, issuing in an age of egalitarianism, but it does establish that these distinctions are no longer what fundamentally defines who we are and cannot stand in the way of table fellowship (which is denied in practice if not in principle by a kinist approach to ecclesiology). Ethnic identity had been the thing that defined the people of God over against the Gentiles but in Christ this is no longer the case. Hence the Judiasers had an out-dated Ecclesiology, like the Jews who still clung to the Temple as the place where God's presence dwelt.
Now notice what follows by way of implication. To the extent that the Old Testament prohibition against inter racial marriages ("miscegenation") was rooted in a racial demarcation of the people of God, that prohibition is no longer relevant. It doesn’t mean that other prohibitions rooted in other principles (such as the prohibition against homosexuality) are suddenly void. It doesn’t mean that race and gender distinctions are obliviated. But it does mean that neither race or gender or economic status define who are the people of God, and since the prohibition against inter-racial marriages had been rooted in that particular way of defining the people of God (given the qualifications about who could count as a descendent of Abraham, which was always rather fuzzy since most of Abraham’s original household were servants not actually descended from the patriarch), it follows that this prohibition is no longer relevant but finds expression under the new covenant in the command not to marry an unbeliever.
Again - and forgive me for re-iterating this but my kinist friends find this apparently simple point incredibly difficult to grasp - the legitimacy of miscegenation follows from the fact that the covenant boundary markers have been changed (Galatians establishes that) so that no longer is the distinction between those who are and who are not God's people co-equal with the distinction between those who are and are not ethnically descended from Abraham's household (who were never all blood descendants of Abraham anyway, interestingly), which was itself the grounds on which miscegenation was forbidden in the OT, so now the distinction between those who are God's people and those who are not God's people co-equal with the distinction between those who confess Christ and those who don't. This means that the new covenant equivalent of miscegenation is marrying an unbeliever. This doesn't mean that marrying anything is suddenly okay. Such an implication is a non-sequitur and fails to appreciate the grounds on which my argument is based.
Edgar Steele Quotes Out of Context

Since publishing this post I received some criticism because
the quotations from Edgar Steele were taken out of context and were pulled from the ADL website. These quotations allegedly failed to represent the deeper context of Steele's thought. That is a fair criticism, and so I am now copying Steele's entire speech so that readers can see the context of the quotations. And this time, I am copying and pasting direct from Edgar Steele's own website.


I'm ready to shoot my TV. Honestly. But for my family, I would cancel my satellite subscription (basic package only) outright and live off hand-selected DVDs.

The commercials are bad enough...intolerable, in fact. Perhaps because I catch only the occasional network show, the frequency of commercials seems more overwhelming to me than most. Rent some old TV shows on DVD and see how long the one-hour shows were just twenty years ago (about 53 minutes), versus today (about 40 minutes). That's why there are no half-hour shows anymore - there simply isn't enough time for more than a page or two of lines, once the commercials take their ever-increasing pound of airwaves. But, that isn't the worst of it. That isn't why I've had it. Let me explain.

Picture the Glorp race, residents of a star system some 987 light years from Earth: The Glorps finally construct a device to decode the television signals leaving Earth today. The Glorps of the distant future would be forced to conclude that Earth is a multicultural paradise, with two races living in blissful harmony. The leaders are drawn from the Jewish race, which makes up about 50% of Earth's population, based upon the percentage of Jews visible in all public walks of life. The Glorps would see that virtually everybody else of any consequence is Black, of course, with those Blacks holding the most prestigious positions - after all, today's movies all have Black Generals and Presidents and heroes of every stripe.

But the Glorps would see another race, too, because the villains always are vapid and ruthless Whites. In fact, Glorps might well wonder why Earth's Whites have been allowed to live, given that we seem to be nothing but a drain upon society. Incidentally, though we all know that TV does not reflect reality in many respects, Whites are being exterminated, just in case you truly haven't noticed. And Jews are running things. The one thing so dreadfully different from TV, of course, is the Black reality.

TV Blacks are smart, friendly, athletic, beautiful (with those never-mentioned White-caste genes everpresent), retiring, wise, helpful and in charge. Real-life Blacks tend to be stupid, hostile, lazy, fat, mean, demanding and in jail. Oh, give me a break! Don't even begin to try to tell me it isn't true! I really have no patience left for White people who deny the reality surrounding us all.

And it has nothing to do with racial "equality," either. Otherwise, where on TV and in the Movies are all the beautiful, wise and worldly Chinese, East Indians, Japanese, Russians, Serbs, Arabs, Eskimos, American Indians and so on? Why does affirmative action in the media always excessively favor just Blacks? And why do Jews seem never to have to give ground, leaving that chore to the other White meat: us? Those are questions for another day, though you might want to ponder them in the meantime for extra credit.

I just watched a first-run movie on the SciFi Channel: Alien Siege. Standard plot line: aliens come...aliens harvest people...aliens get beaten back. What also has become standard fare these days: The General of the American forces was an attractive, wise and understanding older Black man. The leader of the underground resistance was an attractive, wise and understanding younger Black man. The villains and the stupid people, including the aliens, were all White, of course. That's the way it is with the SciFi Channel now, you know. I started watching their "4400" series, then turned it off in disgust when it became clear, early on, that the female blonde lead was on the make for Black guys, one of whom appeared to be the prime male lead. I give up on the SciFi Channel. I've simply had it. I have a new motto now: If I see Black, I don't go back. SciFi Channel can depend upon its Black viewership for support from now on, so far as I am concerned.

The commercials came hot and heavy during the movie, of course. I was most struck by Burger King's commercials, which presented a musical cast overwhelmingly composed of Black cowboys, Black women and several beautiful blonde White women. In fact, I notice that not one single TV commercial these days gets by without a significant Black presence, usually anywhere from one-third to one-half the participants. No more Burger King for the Steele household, folks: If I see Black, I don't go back. Let them make it on their Black clientele, which is what seems most important to them.

In fact, I'm making it my personal mission in life now, regarding all things I see advertised: If I see Black, I don't go back. No, it won't make much of a difference. But if you join, too, it will begin to sting.

We wouldn't have minded if they had kept it proportional. We wouldn't have minded seeing 12% Blacks in commercials and movies. We wouldn't have minded seeing a little overrepresentation in management and professional roles, either, but this has gotten totally out of hand. I am particularly offended by the media's portrayal of White women with Black men. Now I want to see it the way it used to be: all White. That's what it will take to win me back. Until then, I won't watch and I won't play and I won't pay. Get your Black viewership to support you for a change.

I gave up watching sports on television long ago: just ten black guys running up and down the floor...or field...or whatever. Put it in proper context, with a lion chasing them through the jungle, and I might just start watching again. But, to watch these grotesquely-overpaid drug addicts, sex criminals and intellectual midgets bounce a ball and make with jive talk and hip-hop, anti-White behavior? No, thanks. Let their team owners and sponsors be supported by their Black fans.

And the news? I used to read a number of newspapers and magazines every day, as well as watch CNN nonstop. I never missed the nightly network news. I stopped all that, though. Coincidentally, it was at about the same time that Blacks started being force fed to us via those venues as well. I stopped because I got sick of getting nothing but lies and the party line. But, it's of a piece, isn't it? All those Blacks in unlikely poses and improbable positions simply are a part of the massive media lying that began in the 'Sixties and really picked up steam in the 'Eighties.

Join me, won't you? Boycott products advertised with Black actors and models. Make a statement: If you see Black, don't go back.

Boycott TV shows and movies with Black actors. Send the message that we are fed up: If we see Black, we don't go back.

Cancel your subscriptions to newspapers and magazines that push Black articles, columnists and advertisements into your face. There are plenty available that don't. Not coincidentally, those that don't promote Blacks are the same ones that actually tell the truth about other things, too. Tell them when you cancel: If we see Black, we don't go back.

Say it again: If we see Black, we don't go back.

Say it again...louder: IF WE SEE BLACK, WE DON'T GO BACK!

Blacks demand that other Blacks support Blacks and that is commended. Jews demand that everybody else support Jews and they get away with it. We aren't demanding what's theirs. We're demanding only what is ours. We demand the right to be able to support White people! It's all right to be White, after all. Another catchy phrase, that one: It's all right to be White.

Get this, once and for all: It is not racist to support your own race.

New America. An idea whose time has come.

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